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ahall : philosophy   31

Existential Depression
If someone feels like their life is completely empty of anything meaningful they are said to be in an existential vacuum, an empty place.
depression  anxiety  psychology  philosophy 
4 weeks ago by ahall
Bertrand Russell Authority and the Individual (1948) | Open Culture
His lecture series, Authority and the Individual, delved into an age old question in political philosophy -- the individual and his/her relationship with communities and states. The head of the BBC later groused that Russell spoke "too quickly and had a bad voice." But the real complaints came from the Soviets, who interpreted Russell's lectures as an attack on Communism.
culture  philosophy  government  radio 
6 weeks ago by ahall
Plato’s Matrix » Robert M Price
The Deuteronomists took basically the same path, making the sons of God into fallen angels, too, but with a fascinating difference. These Fallen Ones still ruled their allotted nations.
christianity  religion  gnosticism  philosophy 
june 2019 by ahall
Superintelligence: The Idea That Eats Smart People
These AI cosplayers are like nine year olds camped out in the backyard, playing with flashlights in their tent. They project their own shadows on the sides of the tent and get scared that it’s a monster.
artificial-intelligence  knowledge  religion  philosophy  math 
september 2017 by ahall
The democratic critique of neo-liberalism
What distinguishes neo-liberalism, she argues, is not simply a commitment to capitalism or to markets, but an effort to transform all spheres of human life in ways that render them amenable to economic calculation.
economics  government  philosophy 
august 2015 by ahall
AI Researchers On AI Risk | Slate Star Codex
"So the difference between skeptics and believers isn’t about when human-level AI will arrive, it’s about when we should start preparing."

Not if, but when.
philosophy  artificial-intelligence  futurism 
may 2015 by ahall
Santayana's Criticism Of Nietzsche
Many people have denounced Christianity on the ground that it was false or tyrannical, while perhaps admitting that it was comforting or had a good moral influence. Nietzsche denounced it -- and in unmeasured terms -- on the ground that (while, of course, as true as any other vital lie) it was mean, depressing, slavish, and plebian. How beastly was the precept of love! Actually to love all these grotesque bipeds was degrading. A lover of the beautiful must wish almost all his neighbours out of the way. Compassion, too, was a lamentable way of assimilating oneself to evil. That contagious misery spoiled one's joy, freedom, and courage. Disease should not be nursed but cauterised; the world must be made clean.
philosophy  truth  bastards 
april 2015 by ahall
How to Tell Whether You've Got Angst, Ennui, or Weltschmerz
But English never hesitates to borrow words that would lose certain subtleties in translation, and angst, ennui, and weltschmerz have made their way into English by offering a little something extra.
words  depression  philosophy 
march 2015 by ahall
Why you shouldn't eat dog
It may be irrational to object to dog eating. But when rationalism is divorced from human feeling, it becomes crude and vulgar.
reason  philosophy  food 
july 2014 by ahall
Tat tvam asi: "You Are That"
Eastern and Western thinking differ on a key point. The East says we are one with the Ultimate, but don't know it; the West says we cannot be one with the Ultimate, but only come into relationship with it. These two points of view may in fact be closer together than we think.
mysticism  philosophy  religion 
june 2014 by ahall
Is God a Taoist?
Because sin or no sin, the important point is that if you do not give him free will, then (at least according to what you have said) he will go around hurting people, and I don't want to see people hurt.

GOD (with an infinite sigh of relief):
At last! At last you see the real point!
philosophy  religion 
march 2014 by ahall
Free eBooks @ University of Adelade
A collection of free ebook editions of significant works from the past.
booklist  literature  philosophy  reference 
january 2014 by ahall
balance and paradox
Now I’m going to ask you how many “truth values” there are. Go ahead, look at me like I’m stupid. “Two: true and false.” I’m sure that’s your answer. Now, riddle me this, Batman: how you can say you believe in shades of gray when you believe that everything—every single statement in all of human history—can be categorized as either “true” or “false”? Anything that’s not “true” is necessarily “false,” and anything that’s not “false” is necessarily “true.”
truth  philosophy  religion 
january 2014 by ahall
Thoreau 2.0 - XOXO Conference Talk
"First, because it's the only honest record of what you're thinking at the time. Your memory will lie to you, almost immediately, about what you thought was going to happen on any given day. The only way you can trust it is to write down your state of mind - what you're worried about, what you expect will happen. And then over time you can go back and look for patterns of thought that you might want to fix. Maybe you're always too optimistic, or maybe you choose to work with toxic people, or chronically underestimate what things will cost. Writing it down will help you understand your mental habits, and correct for them."
journaling  philosophy  writing  pinboard 
november 2013 by ahall
Julian Assange: Everyone and no one wants to save the world
To meaningfully interact with the world, you have to either constrain your perception of what it is back to valley proportions by eschewing all global information (most of us here have engaged on just the opposite course which is what has provoked this discussion), losing your sense of perspective, or start seriously engaging with the modern perception of the world.
culture  sociology  philosophy 
november 2013 by ahall
Outline of self
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to the self.
philosophy  psychology  linklist 
october 2013 by ahall
Who knows what
There is ontological reduction, which has to do with what exists, and epistemic reduction, which has to do with what we know. The first one is the idea that the bottom level of reality (say, quarks, or strings) is causally sufficient to account for everything else (atoms, cells, you and me, planets, galaxies and so forth). Epistemic reductionism, on the other hand, claims that knowledge of the bottom level is sufficient to reconstruct knowledge of everything else. It holds that we will eventually be able to derive a quantum mechanical theory of planetary motions and of the genius of Shakespeare.
science  philosophy  knowledge  ontology 
july 2013 by ahall
The Refracted Light: Ancient Wisdom about Photography
* The best photographers can make the best photographs with even poor cameras. For this reason, the best photographers use the best cameras.

* A poor photographer blames his camera; a good photographer blames himself. For this reason, good photographers use cameras they cannot blame.

* Many good photographs are due to luck. Good photographers are luckier than poor ones.

* You must not care what master photographers think of your photography, for they are prone to envy. You achieve this by carefully following the advice of master photographers.
photography  philosophy 
may 2013 by ahall
Ricky Gervais is embarrassingly stupid.
But here’s the shit of it: the real basis of most of the mass violence in human history is something even more ubiquitous than religion. It is political-categorical thinking: the subsuming of humans into groups, the stripping from these groups of their “humanity,” the development of oppositional and “othering” rhetoric, etc. etc. 
religion  science  philosophy  culture 
october 2012 by ahall
Russ Allbery: Reacting to excitement
"2. It's okay not to have an opinion. Seriously, it's okay. The world is full of stuff, far more stuff than any one person can know anything about. It's okay not to go read about everything people say is exciting. It's okay not to know about something new. It's okay to focus on the things I'm already doing. Really."
philosophy  introversion 
september 2012 by ahall
Notes on Haskell: Rewriting Software
Joel Spolsky is arguing that the Great Mozilla rewrite was a horrible decision in the short term, while Adam Wiggins is arguing that the same project was a wild success in the long term. Note that these positions do not contradict each other. Clearly, there is no one rule that fits all situations.
programming  philosophy 
august 2012 by ahall
What I Believe — E.M. Forster
I believe in aristocracy, though - if that is the right word, and if a democrat may use it. Not an aristocracy of power, based upon rank and influence, but an aristocracy of the sensitive, the considerate and the plucky. Its members are to be found in all nations and classes, and all through the ages, and there is a secret understanding between them when they meet. They represent the true human tradition, the one permanent victory of our queer race over cruelty and chaos. Thousands of them perish in obscurity, a few are great names. They are sensitive for others as well as for themselves, they are considerate without being fussy, their pluck is not swankiness but the power to endure, and they can take a joke.
philosophy  culture  religion 
august 2012 by ahall
The significance of plot without conflict
Kishōtenketsu contains no such violence. The events of the first, second and third acts need not harm one another. They can stand separately, with Derrida’s beloved difference intact. Although the fourth act unifies the work, by no means must it do violence to the first three acts; rather, it is free merely to draw a conclusion from their juxtaposition, as Derrida does when he interprets one narrative through the lens of another.
culture  writing  philosophy 
july 2012 by ahall
This Column Is Not Sponsored By Anyone
Seen in isolation, these commercial encroachments seem innocuous enough. But Sandel sees them as signs of a bad trend: “Over the last three decades,” he states, “we have drifted from having a market economy to becoming a market society. A market economy is a tool — a valuable and effective tool — for organizing productive activity. But a ‘market society’ is a place where everything is up for sale. It is a way of life where market values govern every sphere of life.”
corporatism  culture  philosophy  advertising 
may 2012 by ahall
If Peas Can Talk, Should We Eat Them? -
But the novel indications concerning the responsiveness of plants, their interactions with the environment and with one another, are sufficient to undermine all simple, axiomatic solutions to eating in good conscience. When it comes to a plant, it turns out to be not only a what but also a who — an agent in its milieu, with its own intrinsic value or version of the good. Inquiring into justifications for consuming vegetal beings thus reconceived, we reach one of the final frontiers of dietary ethics.
philosophy  food  diet 
april 2012 by ahall
The Possibilian - David Eagleman and Mysteries of the Brain
From the unfathomed complexity of brain tissue—“essentially an alien computational material”—to the mystery of dark matter, we know too little about our own minds and the universe around us to insist on strict atheism, he said. “And we know far too much to commit to a particular religious story.” Why not revel in the alternatives? Why not imagine ourselves, as he did in “Sum,” as bits of networked hardware in a cosmic program, or as particles of some celestial organism, or any of a thousand other possibilities, and then test those ideas against the available evidence?
psychology  philosophy 
december 2011 by ahall
Four Futures
1. Egalitarianism and abundance: communism
2. Hierarchy and abundance: rentism
3. Egalitarianism and scarcity: socialism
4. Hierarchy and scarcity: exterminism
economics  philosophy  dystopia  corporatism  bastards 
december 2011 by ahall
The Idea of Progress: Onwards and upwards
The idea of progress forms the backdrop to a society. In the extreme, without the possibility of progress of any sort, your gain is someone else’s loss. If human behaviour is unreformable, social policy can only ever be about trying to cage the ape within. Society must in principle be able to move towards its ideals, such as equality and freedom, or they are no more than cant and self-delusion. So it matters if people lose their faith in progress. And it is worth thinking about how to restore it.
december 2009 by ahall
Dualism (philosophy of mind)
In philosophy of mind, dualism is a set of views about the relationship
between mind and matter, which begins with the claim that mental
phenomena are, in some respects, non-physical.
may 2009 by ahall

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